Q    What is “the Rapture”?

A   The word rapture comes from the Latin word rapturo which means “caught up.” In the Greek New Testament the related word harpazo (meaning “to snatch or take away”) is used numerous times. Essentially, those of us who are still alive when Christ returns will be “caught up, snatched away” together with other believers in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17).   

It may be helpful to think about it this way: the Rapture is a rescue operation. Jesus has given us an exit strategy from the wrath and the judgment that is coming upon the earth. Followers of Christ are freed from judgment through the grace of God. As we read in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Q    How should we live knowing that Jesus is returning soon?

A    We need to wake up! Revelation 16:15 says: “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake.” Because we don’t know when Jesus is coming, we need to stay awake. We need to be ready! We have so many sleepy, push-the-snooze-button Christians who are apathetic. We need to be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).